Last week Jeremy’s two weeks of vacation began!

We thought we’d start the holidays by relaxing at the Reinink’s cabin on Belwood Lake. It was a lovely few days of canoeing, climbing trees, fishing, playing in the sandbox, reading and swinging in the hammock.




And earlier this week Jeremy took James on a 3-day father-son camping trip! James was bouncing off the walls the night before; he could hardly wait for the trip to begin!


It was really quite wonderful to have a few quiet days at home with just the girls and myself. Wonderful in two ways: for reading books and playing with June and just enjoying her spunky personality, and for getting a few things done. I made some pear sauce from the tree in our backyard, baked, tidied, decided on a teach-your-child-to-reach curriculum and planned our homeschool year. :)

June relished having Alice to herself instead of competing with James for Holding Alice Time:

While They Were Camping-3

While They Were Camping-2




And now we’re enjoying a few days with Tim and Kristi! (More on that later!)

Summer Wrap-Up

Well, here we are near the end of August already. And, not be cheesy or anything, but I’m looking back on this past summer, and looking back with great fondness. I loved our time in Fergus. The Little Castle (our home) was a perfect fit for us, we got along well with Jeremy’s mentor and his wife, and many people welcomed us into their homes and lives.

And I really mean that. They welcomed us into their homes and lives.

It’s quite popular these days to talk about ‘broken’ people and ‘messy’ lives. And I get that. I know I’m a sinner and that the church is full of sinners. But it is also wonderful to look at the flip side of that and to see the ways in which Christ’s love is shown through imperfect people. And when I think back on this summer, that’s what has made the greatest impression on my heart.

Remember my fairy godmother who took James and June for the day and also made our family dinner? Well, it turns out she has sisters who are just like her. We over for dinner at her sister’s and during a discussion about the neighbourhood she mentioned offhand how they’d brought meals to their extremely elderly neighbour almost daily for the last couple years of his life. Τhe love of Christ in the art of hospitality.

There were many more examples like this, and it was a beautiful thing to see.

And now. Now we’re home and I feel like I’m trying to catch my breath.

Obviously it’s been a summer of change: moving to Fergus, living in The Little Castle, Jeremy writing and preaching sermons, getting to know a new congregation, having a baby . . .

And now we’re back in Hamilton and, after a week of tidying, sorting and unpacking, it feels like we’re home.

June has been having a hard time adjusting to life here at Darlington Manor. She didn’t recognize our home when we returned, she’s been crying over the smallest hurts or troubles and has been waking up multiple times overnight. And, to be honest, I know how she feels – there’s something comfortable and comforting about the familiar.

Every year brings new changes, but this year the changes are particularly noticeable. Jeremy’s in his fourth year at CRTS, and that means he’ll be preaching a once or twice a month so we won’t be in our home church as regularly. He’ll be teaching catechism class every Tuesday evening. And the next classis is coming up soon and good friends will be/have already moved away. There are eight new students joining the seminary this year (!!), and a number of them are married, and so we’ll be welcoming new women to our JOY group – I’m very excited about that, but it also means getting used to a new normal.

And, one more reflection on this past summer . . . it certainly felt like a summer where we received a lot. Part of that is just the nature of being strangers in a new place, and in particular being an intern/intern’s family in a new congregation. You end up being on the receiving end of hospitality a lot. And having a baby mid-way through the summer compounded that. We received oodles of meals and gifts and congratulations, all of which were gratefully received.

But, after moving home, we had some friends over for dinner and it was wonderful to be on the giving side again. I know other seminary friends have felt the same in times past; that you grow a little weary of being the ones who need help or assistance and that you eagerly anticipate a time when you are in the position to help instead of always being helped.

Alright, moving on to photos . . .

To begin, some pictures of our last week in Fergus:


















Alice August-7


James doesn’t stand a chance against this hand! (Cue the wicked laughter.)


Moving day! Some friends of ours took care of James and June for the day so we could tidy and pack without a duo of distraction and destruction. Muchos gracias, Kryna!


Before we left, James brought a hand-drawn card to the neighbours. From the back deck of The Little Castle, we could see right onto the deck of our neighbours, and James quickly made friends with them (a couple a decade older than Jeremy and me). He’d regale them with tales of what we were having for dinner, Alice getting baptized, escapades at the park – basically, whatever struck his fancy. And they loved it! James’s friendly, people-loving nature really was highlighted for me this summer. We’d walk down the street to pick up our mail and he’d be waving to and chatting with the trio of ladies on their front porch or the guy across the street with the pig – and they’d just soak him up. “Congratulations – on both of them!” one of the ladies said, after she’d peeked at Alice for a bit and chatted with James. :)


Home again, home again – now with three!


June being consoled by her papa.


Trying to pull dad off the couch; much wrestling ensued.





There remains a fair bit of yard work to do this autumn. Look at those weeds – GULP! Good thing Tim and Kristi are coming for a visit in two weeks! HAHAHA! JK.


The kids really missed having a good-sized yard to play in this summer. The park was grand for after-dinner frolics, but it’s great to have lots of space for them to run and climb.




Hello, darling. I love your smile.




That’s all for today, folks!

Alice, Day 30

I’m sitting here at the computer while Jeremy takes James and June to the park for some post-dinner frivolity, and little Alice Genevieve is curled up on my lap. She looks into my eyes and smiles when I talk to her.

I’ve been thinking lately about how life is made up of so many small moments. Sitting together after dinner. Savouring newborn smiles. A hug in the kitchen. Reading books aloud to James and June. We added this poem recently to our Tea Time routine, and it speaks to this experience:

Little drops of water,
little grains of sand,
make the mighty ocean
and the beauteous land.

And the little moments,
humble though they may be,
make the mighty ages
of eternity.
– Julia Carney

I’ve loved sharing some of these little moments over the last 30 days. Here are a few more from today.

James and Alice 2-3

June trying to burp Alice:

James and Alice 2-4

And James holding his little sister. It never gets old!

James and Alice 2-2

Alice, Day 27

The baby wrap is starting to get lots of use these days; it’s worked well for church, the wedding last weekend, various chores around the house, etc. . . . I love having Alice close by, but still having my hands free, and she seems to love it, too. Win-win.

Mama and Alice